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In the spirit of this question on I would like to compile a list of open source/creative commons/public domain technical guides. My original thought was to list books only for operating systems but we might as well open it up to other technical guides that people may find useful not to include programming languages, as that as already been done on, as referenced earlier. I think we might want to skip anything too esoteric however... My preference would be books in PDF, or other printable formats, not so much web guides.

To start it off I will list two excellent FreeBSD books:

Of course the Magnum Opus FreeBSD Handbook

And another great book The Complete FreeBSD

I would provide links but alas as I am a new user I am not allowed to post more than one link. A quick Google search of the above titles will get you right to the the manuals though. Alright, lets see what else is out there...

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closed as not constructive by random Oct 19 '11 at 23:36

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I would just like to add that my intent is to compile a list of actual books that you all would recommend so that users can look to this list for specific books that are actually valuable in terms of content and presentation, not abstract ideas on where to look or how to find the information. – isolier Nov 5 '09 at 2:49 is a really nice resource to have, – Richard Marquez Nov 5 '09 at 4:09

I'd like to list some books on debian.

1.Debian Reference introduce the debian linux operating system all aspect.

2.Debian Developer's Reference provide an overview about the debian develop enviroment.

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Some thoughts:

  1. There is a slowly growing collection of wikibooks on topics ranging from hardware, programming, and a whole computing bookshelf. The quality and completeness varies, but some of it is very good. Notable wikibooks:

    a. Algorithms - this might count as 'programming', but it's excellent.
    b. LaTex
    c. Knowing Knoppix
    d. Computer Know-How is an OK beginners introduction to Windows, Linux & Mac.
    e. There is a whole set of FOSS books donated by the UN Asia-Pacific Development Information Program. Covers a wide range of Open Source topics.

  2. Linux online maintains a list of free on-line books as does linuxtopia.

  3. The Ubuntu Pocket Guide is available as a free PDF

Most of these are online and NOT in PDF format.

On a funny note, depending on your sense of humor, is the Unix haters handbook - available in PDF.

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If you have found any wikibooks of particular quality let us know. This brings up an interesting point as well that were people to create a wikibook in docbook then it would be both valuable as a online resource and easily printable with a bit of conversion. I digress... – isolier Nov 5 '09 at 2:53

It's older, but this is the one I used to learn Linux — Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition.

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Linux From Scratch book tells about the internal's of linux and HOW to build it :)

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I'd like per post per topic style and here are the must have free books on linux develop.

GNU C Library Reference Manualis the must have reference for C or any other programming language programmer developing under GNU/Linux enviroment.

Actually you could find a lot of free manauls at

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Books more theoretic,

1.Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs gives a good introduction to Lisp and computer science.

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There are printable views, blogs, forums, white papers, spec sheets, guides, etc etc. Every free piece of documentation that has been released by Microsoft for every piece of software that they produce. It's the most underutilized resource I've ever seen.

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